Here is my favorite post of my journey to motherhood. The day I got to finally hold my child in my arms. Last Friday I gave a quick overview of my third trimester. February 2015 taught me patience but also gave me the best gift. Here is my little man’s birth story.
Our baby boy was due on February 16th and as we approached the date I was praying that he wouldn’t come on the February 14 so I could always celebrate my birthday. But the day after my birthday would have been memorable as February 15 my Grandpa Hiltz’s birthday. My grandpa passed away last summer so if my son had arrived on the his birthday we would have named him William. So lucky for for me, my birthday came and went with no excitement.
Now on the February 16 at our birth class from 7pm – 10pm I had pretty consistent contractions. So I left thinking I was going to have a baby but I took a bath, drank water, and laid down and the contractions went away. This had happened the week prior too. I guess it was just my body preparing for when our son would make his arrival.
So on his due date I started doing things to keep my mind off that I was now late. And I was most likely to go 10 days past my due date as that was what my midwifes said was the average for new moms. I went shopping for postpartum clothes and to use all my birthday coupons. It was funny to watch the clerks faces when they asked when I was due and I told them yesterday. They looked at my like why are you shopping shouldn’t you be having the baby? I figured they hadn’t been pregnant and didn’t understand I had to keep busy to not focus on when this baby would come.
I also went to Value Village to pick up a puzzle or three to make. I started the puzzle on the February 18th and was seeing how many of the three that I bought would I complete before our baby boy (still unnamed at that point) decided to enter the world. I thought I was going to make puzzles and when I was in early labor maybe make sugar cookies to have to celebrate with after the birth so that I would keep myself distracted.
On the morning of Thursday, February 19th, I completed my first puzzle and felt a contraction around 10:30am. I didn’t think much of it as usually labor starts in the evening. I also knew that birth class said to go rest when you feel contractions because if it is false labor they will stop or you won’t be able to sleep through real labor but I didn’t try that as I was not tired since it was the morning so I completed my first puzzle.
I called my mom around noonish to keep my self bus and started on a second puzzle. I had contractions consistently every 10is minutes but nothing that really made me think it was real. I also didn’t want it to be false labor and get myself excited. I texted my doula that I was having consistent contractions about 8-10 minutes apart but didn’t know yet if it was labor. She texted at 1pm to say she was heading into the dentist for a three hour procedure and ask how I was doing. I thought if it was labor that it would slowly progress so maybe that evening I would need her help so I texted back that I was good.
I stayed on the phone with mom for over an hour working on my puzzle. I finally told her “I think I might be in labor but I wasn’t positive so please don’t tell anyone.” By the time I was hanging up I did have to pause my conversation while working through a contraction since some were taking my breath away. I told her I would let her know if it continued. At this point I tried timing my contractions but I felt they were varied and I was having trouble doing it right. I decided it was time then to text Rob around 3 that I was having contractions and I thought this might be “it”.
Then within a half hour I texted my family that I thought I was in labor and baby boy was coming. This was because I could no longer focus on the puzzle and my tv show, Nashville, wasn’t keeping my attention either. So I started cooking my spaghetti noodles for my meal after birth (at my birth center they won’t let you go home until you eat a hearty meal). I was now at the point that each contraction needed my full focus. I called Rob at 3:30p, and said, “you need to come home now!” I needed assistance and knew my doula was busy. I did text my doula that it was really happening and when she was done she should come over. Rob got home around 4 and he thought he would have time to get things done. He was getting the ipad ready, checking his email, etc. But within the first 12 minutes he said I had about 4pm contractions which seemed about a minute long. This freaked him out and he told me to call the midwives and he got on the phone with my doula.
When he called my doula her dentist actually answered and had to rely the message to her. She contacted the back up doula and said that they both would be there before 5pm. I called the birth center and was transferred to the midwife, Kyla. She started asking me the questions, when did it start, how does it feel, etc but within a minute of being on the phone I had to stop and breath through a contraction. At this point I was leaning on the counter for each contraction. Kyla said it was good for me to come in and I asked specifically what time. She said aim for 5:15pm. Since we were going to a birth center we had to give the midwives time to prep the room.
After those conversations my husband called my mom and said, “it is happening tonight and Meredith would love for you to be there. You could make the last flight out of Phoenix.” He was even willing to pay for the last minute flight. So my mom booked on her flight and made her way to Sky Harbor Airport. My husband texted our dog sitters, Travis and Kate, so they would be able to feed the dogs and let them out. We were expecting the normal first labor which would mean being gone 12 plus hours. He also asked Travis to pick up my mom from the airport and bring her to the birth center. We have such amazing friends who helped us out.
My food was ready now. The bag all packed. And my husband was still running around. I was on the floor using the exercise ball with each contractions. Both of my doulas arrived right around 5 which gave time for a quick update on where I was and allow my husband to load the car. Then we were off to the birth center at the worst time too! The car ride is the hardest part of getting to the center and the quicker the better but we were right at rush hour. Also, WSDOT had just redid the I-405 on ramp so it was more backed up then ever. So we went side streets which made it about 15-20 minute ride instead of the usual 5 minutes via the highway with no traffic. Each bump the car went over was uncomfortable. We arrived at the birth center and was sent us to suite 3, my second option as there was another birth going on in suite 1. The birth center actually ended up with 3 births that day which they said was probably due to the change in weather. It had been sunny and was beginning to rain on February 19th.
So we got settled with candles going and food in the fridge when my midwife, Kyla, came into check where I was. I was 4cm so there was no reason to leave or have to work on making the labor progress. In my mind, I thought ok I have about another 10 or more hours to go according to the typical first birth. Within 2 hours I was laying on the bed saying I couldn’t do it. I had gone through a small transition which scared me and caused me to throw up. It took time to figure out what position was comfortable. I tried dancing with my husband, laying on the bed, the toilet, and the tub. As you could tell laying on the bed was my favored option.
At the about 7:30pm (according to my labor assistance as I had no clue of timing while in labor) I was seriously thinking of an epidural. I was able to communicate what I wanted but I was really feeling done. I wasn’t getting much breaks in between contractions and they were hard. I kept saying I was done because I thought the contractions would still get more painful and closer together. Jessica, the midwive student, said before thinking about transferring to the hospital we have the nitrous gas you can use. I really didn’t want to use that or go to the hospital but I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted it to be over and kept thinking I can’t do this for another 8 hours. My husband suggested seeing how dilated I was which it had only been almost 3 hours and the midwives like waiting 4. My doulas weren’t sure that would help and asked what was my mind set, and if I hadn’t progressed would it really set me back. I said “if I was less then 6cm then I might be defeated.” So finally Kyla came in and she said, “I do think it is best if we check”. So I got check and I was 8cm dilated and basically heading into transition! Hallelujah!
So my mind sent basically snapped into place or did a 180 because I realized that it would be no more than 4 hours and I could do this. We went back to the toilet where I started to feel like I needed to push. Jessica said to try not to push too much as I still wasn’t fully dilated. She refilled the tub with warm water and I got in there. The midwives suggested getting calories into me so my husband started giving me a spoonful of yogurt between each contraction. I would lay back on the side of the tub then sit up to push with each contraction. I made all of my help laugh because I snapped my finger and beckoned the yogurt at one point as I was trying to eat it between contractions but still rest. My biggest fear was getting too tired so I did my best to rest between contractions.
Finally Jessica told us that if I was going to birth in the tub they had to refill it. My husband said she doesn’t want to have a water birth and I realized I was cold. We hadn’t really talked about a water birth but my husband was really observant and knew that the tub was my favorite place. I moved to the bed where I pushed with the exercise ball for a short time then switched to inclined on my back. At this point it was heading into the 11 o’clock hour. My main doula started giving me water between each push. And I started focusing on pushing with each contractions. We had Jessica and Kyla there observing the whole time. I could feel our son’s head coming out. Jessica was putting olive oil and helping to try to prevent any tearing. My legs started to cramp. My main doula did really well propping up my right knee and my right foot was on Kyla so that leg didn’t cramp as much. I did end up snapping at main doula that I didn’t want anymore water near the end of pushing. She later told me she wasn’t surprised because I had drank 3 glasses of water.
At this point I was all focused on getting baby boy out. I heard them asking what song would baby come out on and if it would be today or tomorrow as it was close to midnight. I thought I could care less! I just want this baby out! My husband looked at me and told me that my mom was there. She came in and I looked and smiled at her. I was so glad she had made it. It was funny because the midwives told her they weren’t sure if I wanted her in the room and I really wasn’t up to answering at the point. I gave about 3-5 more pushes and out came our son! My mom had made it into the room 5 minutes before his birth. I can tell you that last push when the head is already out is wonderfully easy. My husband caught him as he came out.
He did have a short cord so he could only nestle on my stomache until the cord stopped pulsing and was cut. He did have a good set of lungs. My mom recorded his first cry. It was amazing hearing that cry. He was welcomed into our little loving world. My husband came up on the bed right next to me and we stared at our beautiful baby boy. He was crying and we were both so in love with our son. Our son was born at 11:57pm on Thursday, February 19th.
The midwives continued to take care of me and clean up while I just held and looked at my son. The cord stopped pulsing and then they asked my husband if he wanted to cut it and also offered it to my mom. They both declined but it still got cut. I then got to bring our son closer to my chest. We then started talking names as we had four options, two the family already knew were Junior or James Tiberius but we decided he didn’t look like either of those. We then talked about Cole and finally landed on David named after my brothers. My husband did the honor of texting the family his name, day and time of birth. My little brother actually read the time of birth as his weight. I am so glad I didn’t have an 11 pound baby!
The midwives let us have family time to get use to our beautiful David. Then they started on the newborn check and got me my meal to eat. David weighed in at 8lbs 11.5 oz and 21 inches long. He was so amazing. I ate my meal then attempted to breast feed. We did struggled to breast feed but finally used a nipple shield and he latched. Around 3am we were sent home, sore, tired, full, and ready to sleep.
We slept for roughly 4 hours and then it was time to start life of feeding a newborn. My husband looked at me that morning and said, “I love you but I didn’t know I could love someone so much as David. and I don’t know why I waited so long to be a dad.”
It was the beginning of my motherhood journey with the help of my mom. It has continued on with the help of many people. It continues one with struggles, joys, memories, mistakes, and so much more. It was my dream to be a mom which I now hold my firstborn in my arms. Now my dream is to raise him up in the Lord and to love the Lord. I pray daily for wisdom and knowledge in how to raise David. It is so amazing, not quite like I imagined but at the same time so much better. Our little blessing from God arrived at 11:57pm on February 19th, 2015 after two years of hopes and dreams for baby. God’s timing is perfect.